In 2009, Siobhan Davies collaborated with leading London gallerist Victoria Miro to present The Collection. For nearly three weeks, performers and artists presented specially commissioned dance and artworks at Victoria Miro Gallery in North London and Siobhan Davies Studios in South London.
The Collection is a series of ambitious collaborations that look at the interfaces of contemporary art and dance, where these worlds intersect and how they might inform one another. At the heart of The Collection is a mutual curiosity for potential exchanges across both art forms, and an exploration of the connections and disconnections within them.
The Collection will open two different but equally interesting architectural spaces to the public. Sitting atop a refurbished Victorian building, Victoria Miro 14 affords sweeping views of the city, with its minimalist sculptural form and soaring interior spaces. Climbing to the top of the building visitors will encounter a new work by Siobhan Davies Dance.
Siobhan Davies Studios’ daring design was awarded a prestigious RIBA award in 2006. Usually occupied by dancers, for the duration of The Collection its architecturally impressive Roof Studio will house a new installation by Conrad Shawcross, Slow Arc Inside a Cube III. This work consists of a singular light source that is programmed to make random movements within a mesh cage, casting infinitely changing shadows across the studio and creating limitless spatial distortions.
For The Collection, Siobhan Davies creates a new work with Catherine Bennett, Matteo Fargion, Henry Montes, Deborah Saxon and Matthias Sperling. Presented as a series of succinct pieces of movement, physical imagery and sound in a white cube the work is performed continuously for six hours each day. The dance is juxtaposed with Doldrum by the artist Anri Sala, which comprises a drum programmed to produce its own rhythm. Located in Victoria Miro 14, visitors can move freely around the space to create their own time frame and perspective of the work.
Located at Victoria Miro 16 is a group exhibition of works that allude to movement, repetition or a physical engagement with space. The artists presented here work across diverse media, from film and photography, to dance, painting, sculpture and sound. There are several new works on view, including Lying in Wait, an exciting collaboration by Idris Khan and Sarah Warsop, and commissions by Alex Hartley and Susan Philipsz. Works by Francis Alÿs, Yayoi Kusama, Cildo Meireles, Roman Signer and Sarah Sze offer varied and often subtle introductions to ideas around movement in visual artistic practice.
‘It’s much more theatrical than most visual art, but also more object-like than most choreography. It certainly takes Davies away from the main currents of British contemporary dance into fresh territory; time will tell whether this new step will open a new path for her – but if she wanted to shift the ground beneath her feet, this does it.’ Sanjoy Roy, New Statesman
‘Focused on subtle articulations of rhythm and gesture, her works explore what the dancing body can look like, away from the dash and colour and seduction of traditional virtuosity....These are fascinating conditions in which to see Davies' choreography.’ Judith Mackrell, The Guardian